Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer
  • .: Welcome to my blog :.

    I'm John R. "Buck" Surdu. I have two Web pages that contain relatively static information about my professional life (including papers I've written) and my hobby life (including information about rules I've written and my wargaming projects). This blog is where I plan to post personal tidbits, like vacation pictures, wargaming projects, etc. Enjoy!
  • More ducks?!

    Posted By on May 26, 2018

    Yes, more ducks!

    A new unit of ducks

    A few weeks back I ordered more ducks int he mail.  They have been sitting on my painting desk for a while.  I primed them in Krylon silver, washed them in Citadel Agrax Earthshade, and then painted in the details.  I am pretty happy with how they turned out.

    The command group for the duck legion

    My buddy Dave can’t get enough skeletons, but there is something about ducks that I think are fun and quirky in a game.  I have space ducks and fantasy ducks.  If I could find a couple of Pulp ones, I  would add them to my collection as well.

    A portion of the duck legion

    I have accumulated a sizable collection of ducks from various manufacturers.  It is becoming a sizable force.

    I have been trying to talk Star Hat Miniatures, who make some really nice duck figures, into selling a sprue of assorted duck heads so that I can use them to convert other figures to ducks.  Some assorted duck feet would be cool too!

    Updated Spreadsheets to Create Units for LSNC: SciFi

    Posted By on May 14, 2018

    As a result of Saturday’s developmental event, I updated the spreadsheets that we use to create units in LSNC: SciFi.  It is a big Excel spreadsheet with a bunch of formulas and lookup tables.  Players select some attributes about their units.  The formulas then derive other attributes and determine the cost of the unit.   Using these tables, average-ish tank battalions with some battalion-level support assets cost about 1500 points.   I’ve asked Dave to re-work some of his battalions with these new sheets to see how his turn out.

    Look, Sarge, No Charts: Near Future and Sci-Fi Rules Development

    Posted By on May 13, 2018

    Dave Wood, Greg Priebe, and I got together this Saturday for a session to work on the LSNC: SciFi rules.  We focused on the cyber fight and spotting.  It really needed to be a small event, because we were changing the rules on the fly, sometimes during the same turn.  In the end, I think we worked through a number of challenges.  There is only so far I can go in my head while running.  At some point you have to put figures on the table and see how it works in practice.

    I think the spotting rules feel pretty good.  I was hoping to use the same spotting dice as the original WWII rules.  We tried a bunch of different things but eventually came back to that.  The trick was to reflect visible and thermal sensors at different ranges.  In the end we are going to use the normal spotting dice, but go to long and short range instead of losing a die for every 10″, and add an additional (special thermal) die if the unit has thermal sensors.

    For the play test games, we are not affixing the normal base labels but using rosters.

    The cyber fight worked very well, I think.  At some point, I’ll probably ask Sally 4th to make some MDF “cribbage board” looking game aid to keep track of the status of the cyber fight.  I also want to explore having special cyber dice created.  Depending on how a side’s cyber forces are doing at penetrating the enemy’s networks, the side can hold some number of cyber effects cards that they can play during the turn.  Both Dave and Greg used theirs effectively to slow down or disrupt the enemy.

    Greg was having an unusually hot dice day, and he was spanking Dave’s forces left, right, and center even though Dave had the upper hand on the cyber fight for most of the game.  Both sides started with identical forces in a meeting engagement.  This was about testing the rules, not winning a game or testing a scenario.

    At the end we started to test the radio frequency (RF) spotting and firing RF-guided munitions, but by that point in the game, Dave’s forces were shredded and we called it a day.

    We are bringing the rules to a club game on 1 June, so stay tuned for further updated.

    Completed Two More Sally 4th Photorealistic Buildings

    Posted By on May 13, 2018

    This week and weekend was my first full week at home since February.  A little at a time, I worked on two more Photorealistic Sally 4th English buildings.  One was the corner shops, and the other was the terraced houses.  As with all the Sally 4th kits, they went together very easily, and the instructions were clear.  In these photos, I am showing the three buildings I have from Sally 4th; I completed the pub some months ago.

    The side of the corner shops being defended by a Bad Squiddo woman with a kitchen knife tied to a pole.

    The corner shops with more Bad Squiddo defenders.

    As with all the Sally 4th buildings, the roofs and first floor (second floor for Americans) come off.  I attached the doors with masking tape to act as a hinge.

    Part of the Frog and Firkin pub with some Founder / Copplestone townspeople

    The Frog and Firkin and the corner of the Sally 4th terraced houses defended by two members of the Women’s Land Army.

    The cobblestone roads are from Sally 4th as well.

    The terraced houses with some Foundry Home Guard on bicycles

    The back gardens (yards) of the three houses. The roofs come off all the sheds.


    Brian Ivers’ Arnhem Game Using Combat Patrol(TM)

    Posted By on May 9, 2018

    Brian Ivers recently sent me another battle report of a WWII game he ran using Combat Patrol(TM).  It is posted here with his permission.  Thanks for an entertaining read, Brian, and thanks for the kind words about the rules.  Enjoy!

    The game is set on the outskirts of Arnhem on 17 September.

    General Roy Urquhart, Brigadier Lathbury, and Capt Jim Cummings are holed up in a house in the town. Brig Lathbury was shot and being cared for by a family. Jim and Roy are in an attic avoiding capture by Germans searching house to house.  An Elite British Para squad is tank hunting a couple of rows down from General Urquhart.  This squad has no idea the general is there.

    The scenario is 10 turns.  The objective is to get General Urquhart out and back to his HQ “Before we have a bloody disaster on our hands!”  The Germans have a regular infantry platoon in the town.  There is 1 PZ IV with a squad of Elite Panzer grenadiers.  Located at the crossroads to the West, is a Green training unit with a Pak 38 ATG.  There are two teams supporting it with an MG 42.

    The British have a scratch platoon of Regular Glider pilots, 3 teams; there is 1 team of Elite Paras and two jeeps carrying a 6 lb gun with Elite glider infantry.

    The Germans move randomly with the bayonet symbol on their cards, until they hear firing.  (On the Action Deck cards in Combat Patrol, there is a bayonet symbol that points in one of eight directions.  This is used to scatter indirect fire, grenades, etc.  In this case, Brian is a also using the bayonet to randomize German movement.)  The General will activate on blue numbered cards, once a card is drawn a dice is thrown if it matches the blue card the general activates.

    The Game Master card is shuffled into the Activation Deck.  When the Game Master card is drawn, the game master will roll for reinforcements, doubles needed on 2d6.  The Random Events card is also shuffled into the Activation Deck.  When this card is drawn, random reinforcements are generated   There are only two which synch with reinforcement card. Odd number dice roll = German, Even = British.

    The “?” markers in this picture indicate German forces of unknown composition.

    The training squad of Germans is just setting up their gun because there is some rumor of British paratroopers landing nearby.  Sgt Hans Gruddelmann thinks it’s a drill of some kind.

    Two teams of regular German infantry are searching house to house for British paratroopers.  Lt Wolfgang Dinkle is at the town center, talking with the PZ IV leader, Sgt Fritz Bayer, directing him to get a move on to the road junction to support those green Hitler youth kids.

    Fritz pushes down the road at a slow speed; his SS Panzer Grenadiers stay behind in the town.

    Capt “Ginger Megs” Porter is in the lead jeep pushing towards the outskirts of the town. He was ordered to get in contact with the lead unit moving towards the bridge and see if they have seen General Urquhart.

    Cpl “Tubby “Dawson has a flame thrower and PIAT team with him, and he is looking for trouble.

    The Jerries are rounding the corner and are about to discover the Paras. Pvt. Dolcie Blankfetty readies his flame thrower as his mate “Jacko” turns on the regulator.

    Dolcie lets fly and sends a jet of flame towards the German patrol, “Jacko you knocked my arm, you stupid bastard.”  (Note:  The yellow die indicates the number of charges left in the flame thrower.) (Also note the clear plastic flame thrower template available from Sally 4th.)

    Two advancing Germans erupt in flame as their screams warn their comrades behind the hedge.

    Meanwhile back at the cross roads, Ginger has his hands full with a MK IV heading his way.

    “Out of bloody ammo!” Lt Harry Liles swears.  The green bands indicate an out-of-ammunition result, as he attempts to kill the crew trying to man their anti tank gun.

    Tubby assaults through the hedge and runs into another team of Jerries — half of the first team he had just fried with the flamethrower.  The black dice indicates the German team to his left is pinned because it lost its leader.

    At the cross road, the Para team flanks to the left of the tank crossing the road. They all throw grenades and get lucky as fritz and his crew bails out losing three crew members.

    Liles team captures Fritz.  Two green team of Germans catch him in a crossfire: one holding a farm house and the other a pig sty.

    The team loses one Para dead and another wounded.  A Glider pilot team pushes to the MG 42 Pig Sty position and hocks Mills bombs into it. They miss, and the MG eats up the Paras in front of them.

    Meanwhile Liles draws cards to get rid of morale pipes, indicated by the green die, and ends up having to charge the MG42.  He loses a man immediately, and another is wounded.  The next wave of grenades kills the MG.

    Tubby sent the PIAT team to the end row house, and they engaged another team of regular Germans pushing towards the sound of the guns.

    General Urquhart and Capt Cummings draw the right card and decide to make a move.

    He runs into Tubbies team. “Well done laddy!” says the general to Tubby. “We thought you were dead, Sir,” he replies.  “I can assure you it was an error… Corporal, I need a Jeep,” The general responds. (Six turns have passed, and the general needs to exit the western map edge.)

    Lt. Dinkle has a team of regular German infantry, which a Game Master card gifted him the turn before.  He commits it to where the sound of fighting is coming.  There is a German MG42 team in a house where the “?” is located.  There Germans open fire on the British as they head to cross the road with the general.

    A brief fire fight ensues, with the Germans getting the worst of it.

    A jeep arrived from Ginger’s team and picks the general up. “We’ve only got two bloody turns to get off the map.  For heaven sake, put your foot down Ginger!”

    What’s left of the Paras and mixed glider troops keep the Germans busy near the cross roads, mopping up the trainees.

    The Jeep carrying the general makes it off the map with a turn to spare.

    Post script. This scenario was based on the scenes in the movie. We had a great time with this and a lot of fun things happened.  The assault by Tubbies’ team on the closing Germans was spectacular; the flame thrower was very entertaining. The British player was super aggressive.  This was the difference in the game. The Germans had bad luck with morale cards, but it seemed like the British were always pulling the out-of-ammo result when they fired.  The fighting in the city was ferocious, and multiple melees made it a close run thing. Being able to pin and suppress the German forces was a key factor in getting the Jeep in and out to save the general.

    The close assault on the tank was one of the coolest things we have seen since playing the game, as was Liles assault on the MG42, which was successful.  Combat Patrol(TM) by Buck Surdu is an amazingly adaptable rule system, where individual actions are easily transferred into game play by the use of the cards.  I highly recommend this rules system.

    Thanks for reading.


    Some Recent Miniatures

    Posted By on May 7, 2018

    Tales of the Golden Monkey from the Sally 4th Classic Movie Miniatures line

    Work has been very hectic lately.  I haven’t been home a full week since February.  On top of that we decided to renovate our basement by adding bead board, painting, etc.  As a result, my hobby time has been limited.  This Sunday was the first time I had to spend in a while, and I completed some figures that had been partially painted and sitting on my painting table for a while.

    The first batch were from the Sally 4th Classic Movie Miniatures kickstarter.  Most were from Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon, but the ones (above) were from the television show, Tales of the Golden Monkey.   It was a pretty good show that didn’t last long that tried to capture the Indiana Jones flavor.  I think they succeeded, and I recently found this series on DVD and am enjoying it again.

    Some of the Sally 4th Classic Movie Miniatures

    These next few photos are a mix of the various other sets.  The figures come with clear bases and these nicely etched wooden ones.

    Figures inspired by Casablanca in the Sally 4th Classic Movie Miniatures line

    All of these figures will go well with Sally 4th’s classic movie terra blocks terrain.  I will, of course, use them with GASLIGHT (specifically To Be Continues… by GASLIGHT), but they will work with whatever rules you use for your pulp games.

    Police for Casablanca from the Sally 4th Classic Movie Miniatures line

    In addition to these Sally 4th figures, I had a few figures from other manufacturers on the desk.

    The celebration set from Hinterland

    If you search for Hinterland on this blog you will see pictures of many of the female hussars that this company produces.  They also produce some sailors, trench raiders, and colonial infantry.  This set is one figure from each of those lines who are celebrating something.

    Female medics from Bad Squiddo Games

    I recently painted the Women’s Land Army and women with various weapons to defend England against the Germans in hypothetical Sea Lion games.  At the same time I ordered this vignette of medics treating a casualty.  These are from Bad Squiddo’s Heroines in Sensible Shoes line.

    Professor Challenger from Antediluvian miniatures

    While none of the Lost World movie adaptations have been particularly good, the book remains a classic.  I think these figures have captured the feel of the characters really well.

    Two residents of “The Village” from Crooked Dice

    If you haven’t seen the classic British television show, The Prisoner, you are missing out of fun — and brain warping — experience.

    St. Mere Eglise Battle (part 2)

    Posted By on April 15, 2018

    A couple of posts below you will see part one of a battle report that Brian Ivers sent to me with permission to post it here.  This article is part two.


    Pvt Anderson signals the approach of Armor coming down the Cherbourg road. Mad Mike informs Buck, who warns his teams to hold their fire.  There are 4 Hawkins mines on the road waiting for the German column.  (The identification of the tank is usually hit or miss, as the actual vehicle is a Stug.   It leads a column of two along with a Panzer IV and two Hanomag halftracks.)

    The table with all the various play aids, including Action Decks, the Activation Deck, and small rubber bands to use as markers during the game.

    As the enemy draws closer, the type of vehicle is confirmed. The yellow dice represents the number of Hawkins mines on the road, the medallion on the road is the mine field.

    An explosion beneath the Stug’s left track rocks the tank, wounding the driver and stunning the rest of the crew who bail out.

    The supporting German infantry fires into the hedges without effect. Hauptman, Ernst Flick, orders his Grenadiers to flank right and calls up the second.

    Mad Mike opens fire with his support team and sends a principle direction of fire down the hedge. The green dice represents morale hits on the team leader.

    Buck decides to charge down the road as he knows he can flank the Germans next to the field and he has support, by fire, from Mike.

    A Stug begins to spray death into the Hedgerow in front of Mike, so he pops smoke. Buck continues his charge.  The church signals friendly armor coming from the beach road.  Buck can’t see it, but Mad Mike swears and crosses himself in thanks.  Corporal Cromer tells the Sgt in the Stuart where the trouble is, and the Stuart heads to the city square.  A very nice Sherman follows close behind.

    It’s getting nasty at the cross roads. Everything the platoon has left is committed.

    The Stuart rolls into the square and positions itself behind a sand bagged position.

    There is a mortar team in the M-3 Half track that unloads into the sand bagged position. The Sherman is waived over to the left flank where a MkIV has been spotted.

    The German commander feels like he is getting the upper hand and wants Lt. Heinrich Schmutz to push.

    Meanwhile a column of armor approaches from the South: a Puma, a MkIV, and a truck full of infantry. The Puma fires at the Stuarts rear without effect.

    The Sherman wheels around and fires at the Puma, engulfing it in flames as the crew bails out.

    The Hanomag pushes across and is missed by the bazooka team trying reaction fire.  A .30 cal opens fire from the 2nd floor of the house to the left and almost wipes out the supporting infantry team.

    The MkIV sees the Sherman rounding the corner and fires, missing it.  The Sherman returns fire, and Sgt Oddball scores a hit.  The Mk IV loses its right track and is immobile.  The crew doesn’t bail, but they are stunned.

    The Mk IV, seeing the Puma disappear in smoke and fire, steps on the gas to come upon its right side.  The Sherman pushes forward to get a better view of the road.

    The Stug in the meadow supported by the Hanomag is causing a lot of tactical issues for Buck and Mike.  Finding that the newly arrived Mortar team was up, Mike uses colorful language towards his runner, who advises the Mortar team to barrage the meadow to Mike’s front.  The sweet sound of outgoing mortars punctuates the air as Mike and his team hit the deck.

    The template covers the Hanomag and the Stug.  In Combat Patrol(TM), indirect fire lands on the Reroll and Reshuffle card. 1 dead, 2 wounded, and a burning halftrack.  The Stug is stunned.

    Buck’s charge kills and wounds the Panzer Grenadiers who are in panic and are pinned as displayed by the black dice.  That was the last straw for Strasser.  He formalizes a retreat, which was already in progress.

    The Airborne troopers held.  Buck lost 9 men KIA, 12 wounded.  The Germans lost 18 KIA over 20 wounded, 1 Mk IV, 1 Stug, 1 Hanomag, and 1 Puma.

    The object of this game is fun.  There are role play elements added.  The most important thing is the Random Events table and interaction between teams and players.  [I posted Brian’s Random Events tale on Combat Patrol(TM) Yahoo group.]  At any time, the Airborne troopers could pull back and hit again.  If allowed to do this, they can play for tactical advantage and usually beat their opponent.  Combat Patrol(TM) is very good and allows for large scale battles even with vehicles.  We had up to 4 players on the allied side and I played the Game Master and Germans.  This scenario was played over three nights, seven hours total playing time.

    I hope you enjoyed this After-Action report.

    Brian Ivers

    Battle in a Box Contest at Fall In 2018

    Posted By on April 11, 2018


    This is a reminder to being to prepare your submission for the Battle in a Box contest.

    Brian Ivers’ St. Mere Eglise Game with Combat Patrol

    Posted By on April 11, 2018

    Brian Ivers sent me another battle report from one of his Combat Patrol games.  He agreed to let me post it here.  Brian does a great job of taking pictures during his games.  I never remember to do that.  (And I love the name of the platoon leader in this game.)

    Imagine if you will, paratroopers from many different units scattered throughout the Normandy countryside. The full moon overhead is darkened by the shadows of the bocage.  The sound of anti-aircraft batteries populates the night air. The constant drone of hundreds of aircraft overhead provides a comforting hum. The sleepy village of St Mere Eglise is fighting a fire near the town square.

    Its dark:  maximum visibility is 6 inches in the bocage and 9 inches along main roads and in the middle of the fields. The Paratroopers can’t see the anti-aircraft batteries, only the flash and sound of their guns.

    Lt. John “Buck” Surdu has 25 Paratroopers, a machine gun team from the 101stAirborne with three men, and a .30 Cal Machine Gun with 400 rounds, a team from his own platoon, 4 men of the 82nd All American, and apparently all lost in Normandy Divison.  Buck has his Platoon Sergeant “Mad Mike” Monagan. There are two other rifle sections of 6 men each from various units of the 82nd Airborne plus a bazooka team.  The dice seen in the pictures represent the units’ activation numbers.  If a figure is a leader it gets a command die that indicates the unit activates when that card is drawn from the Activation deck.

    They advance towards the village. They hear anti aircraft batteries peppering their buddies above. The flashes represent  the area the fire is coming from.  “No animals, real or plastic, were injured during the playing of this battle.”  One of the teams lose a Browning Automatic rifleman as they move forward and have to stop to look for him. These random events happen in war, I made a random event table for it.  Mad Mike is choking private Jones’ team leader, when Buck interupts his councelling session to deploy the teams for battle.

    One of the teams finds a parachute in the bocage, a random event, and with it a weapons and ammo pod containing grenades, .30 cal linked ammo, and bandoliers of M1 ammo.  “God must love paratroopers,” Sergeant Masters says to no one in particular.  The platoon distributes ammo and moves on.  [Editor’s note:  Why is the sky blue?  Because God loves the infantry.  And he loves paratroopers too!”]

    The Americans resume their marching to the sound of the guns and their objective past the cross roads in the city.  The anti-aircraft position is up ahead.  The plastic orange fire markers indicate general direction the flashes and sound are coming from.

    The platoon splits once the recon elements discover the Anti-Aircraft positions. One half attacks the Germans on their left of their advance, the other the right.

    A base of fire with the .30 Cal, Screaming Eagles team covers Buck’s advance towards the preoccupied German AA team.  The AA team is rated Green for Guts (morale in Combat Patrol), while the paratroopers are rated Elite.

    Buck sets up a base of fire, leaving Mad Mike and the 101stguys with a rifle section.  Buck pushes forward with the assault element, fixed bayonets, and a bad attitude. “Mr. hand grenade is your friend.”  Training came in handy as the paratroopers rain grenades on the unsuspecting Germans.

    The plastic overlay indicates the grenade blast radius.  Cards are flipped, and casualties assessed.  One German dies as he is thrown on the grenade by his courageous buddy.  Another is wounded, and all are concussed except two outside the cone.  The different elastic bands indicate wounds and morale condition.  Tipped over figures indicate dead/incapacitated Germans.  Buck cleans up the bad guys in the AA pit and pulls his support element forward.

    Buck secures the first AA position and displaces the base of fire, who under Mad Mike, push towards Buck’s position. Corporal Josh Cromer handles the rest of the platoon across the road and into an awaiting sand-bagged position. “Geronimo!” and hand grenades take the position.  [It’s a good thing they found the weapons pod with all those grenades!]

    The paratroopers set up another assault and push into the second AA battery.  Cromer’s team lays down suppressive fire as Sgt Andy Krieg’s team rushes to the second AA position.  With fixed bayonets and no serious adult supervision, the teenage paratroopers close with the enemy who have been killing their buddies in the air.

    Corporal Sanders gets a bullet in the throat going into the bunker and dies with his bayonet embedded in the chest of the man who shot him.  The German AA garrison is alerted, and men begin to come out of their quarters to assist their comrades.

    An arial shot shows the two AA positions and relative advances of the two teams.

    It’s all over.  The AA crew lies motionless, their weapon silenced.  A fierce hand-to-hand took place, but trained elite infantry will usually defeat untrained artillerymen.  The paratroopers must press on.  There is a hidden team inside the town who had dropped with F Company where most had been killed or captured.  They make their presence known to Sgt Krieg as he occupies the wall across from the road. The team has almost no ammo but a nice .30 cal.

    Buck has a determined counter attack heading towards him.

    The counter attack is broken up by concentrated fire.  Enfilade fire from Cpl Cromer’s team in the sand bagged position and Buck’s forward element firing from behind the cover of a hedgerow. The Germans await the paratroopers in the town.

    The German garrison has no idea how many or what kind of support the Americans have, which is good news for Buck, Mad Mike, and Sgt Krieg’s’ teams.

    Two groups of paratroopers occupy the road before the town. The Americans have 5 wounded, two dead, and another guy who went missing.

    Someone is yelling at them from the bakery in front of them. “Sounds French,” Pvt. King yells. (Another random event.)

    Corporal Dubois from Church Point, Louisiana, said, “They are saying ‘don’t shoot.’”  It’s a family, and they say the house is empty, but the boche are in the houses across from them.  The bazooka team, led by “Lumberjack” Hansen, begins to shoot holes in the house to support Buck’s advance.  Buck and his troopers move towards the house.  The Germans are stunned and begin to withdraw from the town.

    The Germans take casualties and are ready to scram as their morale is low and casualties high.

    The team that pushed across the road took 2 dead and 1 wounded.  The lower floor opened up on them just after the bazooka round impacted.

    The objective is taken, but can they hold?  Buck organizes the defense of the town. He places teams in the church tower and places teams in the buildings near the cross roads.  It’s getting light.

    A team of 101st come running down the road.  Mad Mike yells at them to get in a building. “Damn right, Mac.  There’s a tank chasing us.”

    The 101st team runs into the destroyed house while their brothers attached to the 82nd begin to feed their MG and mow down the supporting grenadiers of the Puma armored car.

    The Germans advance slowly.

    The machine gun “processes” the advancing Germans.

    Mad Mike empties his Thompson into the crowd as his team lays on the lead. “ Where’s that bazooka?”

    The Puma can’t see the fire from the church tower, so hoses down the buildings in front of him, wounding a Screaming Eagle and killing an All American.  The German  grenadiers are caught in a cross fire and are cut to pieces. The Puma begins to pull back.  The battle will continue.

    Waiting for the Sherman’s to give us a “very nice edge.”  To be continued….

    The game system is Combat Patrol(TM): World War II.  The action is generated by cards drawn for each side. This produces movement morale, casualties, etc.  The models are Flames of War. The buildings are a mix of 4Ground. E-plastic, and Flames of War prebuilt.  The trees and hedges are from kits and scratch-built railway hobby parts.  We have 4 people playing, and I am the Game Master.  This plays quickly and has a lot of role play elements to it.  The mat on the table is for ease of movement and is GMT product from Command Colors.

    Hope you liked it.


    Duke Morrison and the Great Zeppelin Adventure

    Posted By on March 20, 2018

    The calm before the storm

    Chris Palmer and I ran a GASLIGHT game on my 7-foot long zeppelin.  The scenario involved Professor Serafini Nannini transporting his rocket sled in Duke Morrison’s zeppelin.  (Duke Morrison is the hero of my pulp games using GASLIGHT.)  Nannini and his daughter Gianna had hidden six components of one of his fabulous inventions around the zeppelin for security reasons. As Nazi rocket troopers and hired gangsters attack the zeppelin to seize Nannini, the rocket sled, and the six components, Duke Morrison (and his soldiers), “Boats” Morgan (and his sailors), “Wrench” Webb (and his soldiers), the Nanninis and their lab workers, MacDuff (and his police), and “Crash” Corrigan (and his rocket troops) work to gather together the components and move them to the rocket sled.  The game was to end at exactly 1130 (wall clock time).  If the good guys had gathered the components and had them in the rocket sled at 1130, the sled would launch, and the good guys would win.  The sled could not be launched until 1130.  Oh, and only five people could drive the sled, so one of them needed to last that long.  The five people who could pilot the sled were Duke, Boats, Wrench, Prof. Nannini, and Gianna Nannini.

    Two gangsters have taken control of one of the McGuffins and moved to to the rear of the zeppelin

    With eight players worth of figures, the game came down to three figures at 1128.  There were two gangster minions left and Boats Morgan, who was in the rocket sled.  Everyone else had gotten killed during the three hours of zany shoot-em-up.

    Crash Corrigan gunned down by some of Horseface Harry’s gang

    The two gangster minions shot at Boats with just two minutes left to play.  One of them scored a hit, and Boats failed his Save.  The bad guys had all the components (five of which the good guys had conveniently carried to the rocket sled) and the sled itself.  And they also possessed Duke’s zeppelin, as none of Duke’s men survived.

    Some of “Boats” Morgan’s sailors take up overwatch positions

    Below are some pictures of the action at various points of the game.  I think the players all had a really good time.  The fact that the game came down to the last three figures two minutes prior to the game’s end contributed.  All the players got into the light-hearted spirit of GASLIGHT.

    The action is becoming intense

    Three gangs of evildoers gun down the police guarding the entrance to the zeppelin on the docks

    The rocket troops take up positions and prepare to look for some of the McGuffins

    Duke Morrison and two soldiers on the bridge

    A view of the battleground

    Bonnie, a gangster, is gunned down by rocket troops and Duke Morrison

    A view of the hold as “good guys” occupy professor Serafini Nannini’s rocket sled

    Bonnie’s gangsters take up positions behind the soldiers and sailor blocking the zeppelin entrance

    The gangsters race past the blockade